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Center crafts creativity

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Posted: Monday, January 23, 2006 12:00 am

Hidden on the corner of Jensen Drive and Dunn Avenue behind the lower level of the coliseum parking deck used to be the N.C. State gymnasium and pool. Since 1963, the old gym has made a drastic transformation into the N.C. State Crafts Center.

Associate Director George Thomas said if it wasn't for the Crafts Center, he would be back in western North Carolina.

"It's the reason I am still here," Thomas said.

The Crafts Center offers classes in a number of different areas including telescope mirror making, jewelry and pottery. Once students have completed a class, they are given a semester pass that allows them to use the studio where they took the class and sharpen and polish their skills.

The Crafts Center also has a gallery open to the public and the NCSU community. Friday, the gallery will host a reception highlighting the woodwork of students, some of which were alumni who graduated almost 20 years ago.

"Contributors to this gallery have all made their work in the [Crafts Center] wood shop," Thomas said.

Lillian Jones, the jewelry teacher at the Crafts Center, has been teaching there for almost eight years and introduced the idea of a jewelry class to the NCSU Craft Center. Jones enjoys working there for the ambiance it provides.

"I love working here," Jones said. "It's a family-like atmosphere and a great facility center. I am here for the love of crafts and the center."

The Crafts Center is open to the general public and offers discounted rates to students. The center is used by at least a thousand people each year. Courses in more than 30 different areas of arts and crafts are taught.

Students taking engineering and photography courses work in collaboration with the Crafts Center and are also welcome to come in and tour the Crafts Center and view the resources available to them.

Andrea Iaccobuci, a senior in English, religion and Spanish, hasn't been to the Crafts Center but is really interested in exploring these resources.

"I have been there before to look around," Iaccobuci said. "I have a friend that used to work there and would tell me about the things going on."

Iaccobuci is really interested in crafts and has a fond interest in knitting. "To me it's a different manifestation of art -- like art through fibers that is not in traditional art media. Plus I really like to use my hands."

Iaccobuci said if she could go back and change her minor, she would probably minor in textiles.

"It's hard to take textiles classes because the [College] of Textiles is on Centennial Campus, away from all my other classes," Iaccobuci said. "In that respect, the Crafts Center is much closer to my other classes and offers a lot of interesting classes."

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